On the plus side: no more misogynist posters. Ripping them off was very satisfying.

On the downside: the Australian Federal government has put getting the budget back in surplus ahead of lifting the wages of 153 000 workers, mostly women, who are working in community services.

According to the article, this is the first test of equal pay rights under the Fair Work Act - and apparently it's failed. So more than 150 000 women, who are already working in jobs on the lower end of the salary spectrum, are not going to get their wages lifted so that they are paid the same amount as the men who work those jobs. 150 000 women are working in the community sector - working with victims of abuse, the disabled, the aged, the homeless - essentially, one of the hardest jobs in society. And sooner or later they will leave the sector, because it is a hugely wearing job and I doubt I could do it. I don't mean to imply that they're working in those jobs for the money, far from it - but equal pay would be one less thing to worry about. Maybe it wouldn't make their jobs easier, but I doubt it would make them harder.

The community sector has a massive turnover rate already, and this will just exacerbate it. More people leaving will mean programs are closed and longer lines for the people who need help. And women will make up at least 50% of these people. So not giving these workers equal pay doesn't just affect them, it has a knock-on effect.

Things like this should not be an issue any more in Australia. (I wonder if Gillard is being paid at the same rate as Rudd or Howard?)

I just, urgh.
Walking around the shops today, saw a couple of posters for a youtube user named The Happy Misogynist. Should have ripped them down immediately, but decided to go home and check the vids in case it was a very, very big mistake. I am far too generous. Anyone who happily identifies as a misogynist does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Found their youtube channel. And also their website.

I feel unclean. And tomorrow every poster of theirs I can find is getting ripped down.

OFC links

Apr. 20th, 2010 07:43 pm
Sequel of sorts to my last public post which is getting more attention than I thought. I've been trying to think of well-written OCs in my fandoms and I've come up with a few in the LOTR fandom (note that I say well-written, not canon-compliant) but I'd love to see links to fics in other fandoms. I can only think of three but to be honest, I don't going looking for OC-centric fics any more and if they turn up in canon-character-centric fics then I see them as an added bonus. So here they are:

The King's Surgeon - story of Serinde, a woman from Dol Amroth who trained as a surgeon/healer in the Houses of Healing, pissed off the wrong people (namely, Denethor) and got exiled. Whereupon she walked to Bree (yeah, walked, my legs were aching in sympathy) and set up a new life there with a husband, children and job as the town healer. She comes back to Gondor in the final months of the War of the Ring and saying more would give a lot of spoilers, but it's a good read (and long). I wasn't happy with Denethor being constantly written as the enemy of everything good, but since it's Serinde's POV (well, third-person POV, you understand?) I can understand the bias. Also awesome is that it passes the Bechdel test: there are other women and they talk about non-romantic things! Hobbits in Bree, women in Gondor, Elves in Rivendell. I think Yalie might be my favourite out of all of them.

Don't Panic! and its sequel, Okay, NOW Panic! - takes the basic plot of 'girl falls into Middle-earth' and sees what it would really be like. Penny is a regular British young woman who wakes up near Bree one morning and panics. Quite a lot. Eventually thanks to Halbarad she makes it to Rivendell but that's only the start of learning about how to live in a medieval society. At the same time she has to struggle with knowing how the story goes and how much, if anything, she should tell anyone. Like Halbarad, who dies on the Pelennor Fields, and Boromir. There's also a lot about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it would be a stigma in medieval society. One part I especially loved was Penny getting food poisoning and becoming seriously ill and not recovering fully for a couple of months after, because that's never mentioned in other GFIME fics. And Penny reads like a real LOTR fan who happens to fall into Middle-earth - she makes mistakes and gets angry at characters that she loved in the books, and she meets some of the main players but not all of them, and I love her.

The Prince and the Librarian - set in Fourth-Age Gondor, it's about Eleniel, a young woman who inherited the job of Librarian of Gondor's public library from her dead father, except the library is a dusty, disorganised mess and she has no idea if she'll ever get it sorted. Enter Eldarion, Idril (one of Eldarion's sisters) and Elboron to help her get it organised, and also enter Lady Celeglin and Lord Stelbin to oppose them. I love Eleniel! She has no family except for her brother, who's serving in the army and is away, and her cat Battleaxe. She lives by herself in a tiny room and doesn't notice what she's wearing at all and struggles to live on her meagre salary, so she skips meals and works at the local inn. But she's doing something she loves and that love of books and the library shines through in her character, and she won't compromise that. The downside of the fic is that it's unfinished, with no updates since 2006. But it stops at the highlight of the action and I have my own personal version of what happens, and I love this fic incomplete.


So that's the first thing. The other thing is about a point raised by wintercreek: where are all the canon female/OFC romances? Where are the fics where an awesome lady sweeps another awesome canon lady off her feet? And so there's a fest planned: sueducing_ladies. I probably won't write anything because I can't make my muses behave, but I will be following it with interest. Why can't Uhura be the one to seduce the Green Skinned Alien Space Babe when they beam down to a planet? What if Zoe fell in love with a fellow soldier (on the opposite side, even!) or a civilian who was later killed in the Unification War? What if Martha was on a UNIT assignment and ended up saving the world from aliens with the help of a civilian?

I love this idea, but it has given me another - ficathon about a canon character and an OFC being BFFs. I know this could vary on the fandom because canon characters are generally friends with other canon characters, but they don't exist in a vaccuum. What about the friends Uhura and Gaila made when they were in Starfleet Academy? Are they on the ships too, or are they cheering Uhura on and mourning for Gaila? What about Zoe's sisters-in-arms? What about Inara's fellow companions?

Anyway, that is something to think upon. And if you know a fic with a well-written OFC in it (she doesn't have to be the star of the show, but no cardboard cutouts either) then link it here!
So this is a post about fandom and meta and me looking back on the things I did in my younger fandom days. It began when I got linked to a few posts talking about the term 'Mary-Sue' and how its meaning has changed over the years since fandom started on the internet.

I have been spending some time at the uncomfortable truths well )


Holy shit that's a long post. Well done if you lasted to the end, if you didn't here's the tl;dr version: tearing down ficcers for writing badly when they start writing is bad, encouragement and gentle criticism is good, and I'm not using Mary-Sue anymore. Back to crackfic posting now.


EDIT: Apparently this is getting more coverage than I expected. For the record, this is just my personal experience with fandom and you shouldn't hold this up as a yardstick to everyone who used to spork fics or still does so, everyone is different. If you're going to comment here please keep it polite, not everyone is going to have the same opinion and I don't want to hit Metafandom and Fandom Wank in the same week.
The first time I heard about Ada Lovelace was from Sydney Padua's webcomic, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (which is goddamn glorious, and I'll post an entry full of squee about it some other time). That led me to the link to Ada Lovelace Day (for which the first comic was originally drawn) and so now I'm here, posting about women in science. Specificially, women in my chosen scientific field of geology.

So a few days ago I heard from [livejournal.com profile] minviendha who heard from metafandom a rant that there are no strong women in the Silmarillion apart from Luthien, and my approximate reaction was excuse me, are we reading the same Silmarillion? And I was going to clutter up Lise's journal even further with my list of awesome Silm women, but I thought it deserved its own post, and also this might get long.




May 2012



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